Lesson Plan

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Lesson notes

This staple of the classical guitar world was written around 1720 and designated as a piece for the lute in the key of C Minor. Preludes usually serve as introductions to a suite of short pieces in a given key but this one stands alone.

There have been many arrangements done by guitarists over the years and I have finally gotten around to my own. The lesson looks at quite a few different fingering possibilities, and even some impossibilities.

Part 4 of the Prelude is probably the easiest section, although I use an arch-barre in one measure, and there is a bit of a stretch when we have the G# in the bass.

Part 5 is the first 14 measures played slowly.

Part 6 covers measures 15-22, starting with one of the most difficult stretches in the piece. One key to this stretch is to practice starting with your fourth finger barring the top three strings at the fifth fret, then reaching back with your first to get as close to the low F as possible. Over time it will improve, then work on it with the first finger first, as needs to be done in the piece.

Part 7 starts with another difficult stretch, a barre at the ninth fret and a reach to the twelfth fret on the A string. This measure and a similar one later have alternate fingerings addressed. The rest of this section is pretty straightforward.

Part 8 looks at only four measures, which happen to be the most difficult to finger in order to sound consistent with all the other measures. One solution to this problem is to use hammer-ons, noticibly changing the flow. Another requires some very uncomfortable stretches. My solution is to use a cross-string pattern where the highest note is not on the highest string, changing the right hand sequence. This ends up being relatively easy to play after a little work.

Part 9 takes us to the end, using mostly familiar chord shapes.

Part 10 concludes the main sections of the Bach Prelude In D Minor with some performance and interpretation notes and thoughts.